B Visa Extension:

10 Things You Must Know Before You Apply

Introduction

Foreign nationals in the U.S. under B1 or B2 status can seek to extend their stay beyond their authorized period of admission by filing the extension of stay application with USCIS.

For the benefit of our readers, we have listed below 10 key things that you must keep in mind before applying for an extension of B1 or B2 status.

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B Visa Extension: 10 Things You Must Know


1.You must use USCIS Form I-539 to file for an extension of stay along with the correct filing fee and necessary supporting evidence.

2.You must submit the application for extension of stay before the current authorized stay expires, which is usually indicated on the I-94 record. Applicants who have failed to maintain his or her previously accorded B1 or B2 status, have violated their status, or whose I-94 has expired before the application is filed, may not be approved.

EXCEPTION

Regulations provide a limited exception to the above where failure to file before the expiry of previously authorized status may be excused, where it is demonstrated by the applicant, at the time of filing that:

A.The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond his or her control, and USCIS finds the delay commensurate with the circumstances.

B.He or she has not otherwise violated his or her nonimmigrant status; remains a bona fide nonimmigrant; and is not subject to deportation or removal proceedings.

Approval is ultimately subject to USCIS discretion.

3.You must submit a written statement with your application for extension of stay explaining in detail:

  • the reasons for your request
  • how your extended stay will be temporary, including what arrangements you have made to depart from the U.S., and
  • any effect the extended stay may have on your foreign employment or residency

4.You must include evidence showing that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself while in the U.S. with your application.

5.You must make sure that the purpose for which you seek B1 or B2 extension of status is justified and your application is not frivolous.

6.Your passport should be valid for your entire requested period of stay in the United States.

7.You may be granted B visitor visa extension in increments of no more than six months each time.

EXCEPTION

An exception to the above rule is granted to members of a religious denomination coming temporarily and solely to do missionary work on behalf of a religious denomination, who may be granted extensions of not more than one year each. However, such work must not involve the selling of articles or the solicitation or acceptance of donations.

8.You must always keep in mind that an extension of stay is not automatic, but is granted at the discretion of USCIS. The officer will examine your status, the reasons for which you want to extend your stay, and decide on whether or not to grant you an extension. An extension of status may not be granted if the USCIS comes to a conclusion that the circumstances do not indicate that an extension is warranted, or show that you may be an “intending immigrant”.

9.If the USCIS approves your extension of status application, it will also decide how long to extend your stay, and will only grant up to the time that you have requested in your application.

10.The normal processing time for B1 B2 extension can range anywhere from 3 to 6 months. It is important to note that processing times may vary, and you are advised to check the current processing times before deciding on when to file your extension of status request.


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Conclusion

Foreign nationals in the US under B1/B2 status who desire to remain longer should keep these 10 tips in mind before deciding to file the application for extension of stay.

If you have any questions about the steps you should take in extending your status, our immigration attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule A Free Consultation Today >>


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